Thursday, April 19, 2018

Horn Canyon
April 4, 2018

The amount of trepidation we felt just driving up to the Horn Canyon trail head was huge.  We saw this canyon burn from our houses on the opposite side of the valley.  The fire was out of control, extremely hot and reduced everything in it's path to ash.  The flames were huge, we knew what to expect.

The going was tough, little was spared and things were exposed that we never new existed.  The remains of a brick fireplace are all that stands of a cabin just off the trail.  Miles of old rusted water pipes line the creek bed and surrounding banks.  A pump head that looks like a old fashioned R2D2 robot sits forlorn on the rocks.

Horn Canyon is exposed in all it's old glory.  The trail is a gradual uphill for about a mile and parallels the creek and there is water running in the creek!  The burn is extensive here exposing rocks that have split with the heat, skeletal sumac and burned oaks.

Crossing the creek we start the steep climb up to the "Pines" a flat plateau on the ridge that was planted with pine trees years ago and became a hiking destination.  Sadly the pines died a few years ago because of the drought and the needle miner beetle, and then the Thomas Fire was the frosting on the cake that did them in.                                                               

The steep climb up affords us views of  the burn and slot canyons.  It's a dismal sight but we are encouraged by wildflowers along the way.  Blue dicks and lupine line the trail. 

What is left of the "Pines" comes into view as we top the crest and start the ascent up the ridge.  It is a sobering sight.  We used to enjoy the shade of the trees and sit on the oak logs around the campsite eating cara caras before the trip down.  Now the trees are mostly gone and fire has burned into the roots leaving giant tunnels into the earth.


Bodee is barking as we head down the trail and she is a couple of switchbacks ahead of us.  A couple of people are heading up the trail and low and behold I recognize a pair of blue pants!  And Bodee is going nuts with excitement! It's Hattie and Martha hiking up to the ridge.  Bodee can hardly contain herself she knows these people!

The dogs relish every creek crossing on the way back and we expect as the years go by things will turn around in this canyon.  We will be back soon.

Hike with Perspective,

Beth & Laura
Bodee & Lucy 

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